Major banks eyeing move to Paris, claims French regulator
Various “large international banks” in London are reported to be in the late stages of planning to relocate at least some of their operations to Paris, according to a member of the French financial regulator AMF.
A recent analysis by Morgan Stanley showed that both Paris and Frankfurt would be more expensive environments than London for US banks, mainly because of higher labour costs, but Anthony Browne, the head of the British Bankers' Association, has conceded that many institutions had begun contingency planning in case the UK loses passporting rights although few believe that, even if that happens, London will lose its role as a global financial centre.Mr de Juvigny also expressed concerns that regulators in different countries competing to attract London businesses could become involved in a race to the bottom for banking legislation. "The danger is the race that we could have for a more lenient regulation with a more lenient regulator," he said. "It's a dangerous challenge...we could see some kind of new competition between countries, between regulators."He said the risk of such leniency was lax regulation that could lead to another financial crisis, and called for Europe to stick "strictly" to existing legislation and not to make special arrangements to accommodate the UK. "I don't believe that (lenient regulation) should be the choice of the UK, but nobody knows," he said.
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